Ferdinando Scianna, who was born in Bagheria, Sicily, spent the first 22 years of his life in Sicily and became a specialist in the culture of the island which is the subject of several of his books, from Feste Religiose in Sicilia, 1965, a Prix Nadar winner, to his magnum opus Les Siciliens, 1977.
In a style akin to that of the Italian neo-realists of the 1940s, using a dramatic, baroque light and dark shadows, Scianna depicts a region in the grip of powerful traditions and religious culture, but at the same time able to assimilate modernity.
Scianna, who began photographing in the 1960s, always had a passion for literature and philosophy which he studied at the University of Palermo (1961-66): subsequently he had a career both as a writer and as a photographer. In 1966 Scianna moved to Milan and the following year began working as a staff photographer for the weekly, L'Europeo. In 1973 he started work as a journalist first as a Paris correspondent for l'Europeo in 1974, then for Le Monde Diplomatique (1976) and La Quinzaine LittŽraire.
Scianna, who met Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1977, became a Magnum nominee in 1982. The following year he returned to Milan and covered stories in Europe, Africa and the US. In 1989 he became a member of Magnum and has since divided his time between reportage, fashion and long-term projects leading to books.
Feste Religiose in Sicilia (Religious Festivals in Sicily), 1965
Il glorioso Alberto (The Glorious Albert), 1971
La Villa dei Mostri (Villa of the Monsters), 1977
Les Siciliens (The Sicilians), 1977
Il Grande Libro della Sicilia (The Big Book of Sicily), 1984
Ferdinando Scianna: L'instante e la Forma (The Instant and the Form), 1987
Ore di Spagna (Spanish Hours), 1988
Città del Mondo (Cities of the World), 1988
Ferdinando Scianna: La Forma del Caos (Shape of the Chaos), 1989
Leonardo Sciascia fotografato da Ferdinando Scianna (Sciascia photographed by F.S.), 1989
Altrove: reportage di moda (Fashion Reportage), 1995
Viaggio a Lourdes (Travel to Lourdes), 1996
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Photographs, 1998